Film Review: Lost is vapid thriller that can test your patience

Yami Gautam Dhar plays a crime reporter in Lost, streaming on ZEE5. Photo: Trailer Video Grab 

Lost in translation? Sorry, couldn’t resist that. Imagine a film, a mere 124 minutes in duration, that tests your patience when it is an investigative (by a journalist) thriller, genre-wise! Yes, it may have won accolades at some international film festivals, but that merely clinches my belief that but for a few that can be probably counted on the fingers of one hand, very few festivals really understand what is good Indian cinema—where the three solid pillars of script, direction and editing are employed to create a total cinematic experience for the Indian audience!

Though specific sequences, in isolation, are handled well here, the overall picture (pun intended) is vapid and so many would-be promising sequences come to nought, so to speak, like bubbles bursting prematurely! Like there is little logic in an old man (Pankaj Kapur), already previously threatened by a politician’s goons, himself going and threatening the man himself in his office, for he must have orchestrated so many killings. And nothing happens after the pasted threats received by the heroine, Vidhi (Yami Gautam Dhar). So where was the need to paste the words anyway, in best 20th century fashion? There is a hint that the words are cut out from English publications, so do English texts use the word “Phekenge”?!! Just asking!

The conversation between Vidhi and a Maoist leader on Skype is shown with meticulous precision (like the fluttering visuals because of the ‘Net as he is in a remote area) but is, again, largely inconclusive.

Also, a major hiccup is that the man who goes missing, Ishan Bharti, the pivot of the case, is essayed by a barely-known actor (Tushar Pandey, known for web series like Aashram, though very good in the brief footage he has). His few scenes fail to elicit any empathetic connection with the audience. Actor or role, either or both needed to be more fleshed-out to create that necessary feeling in the viewer!

The most creditable sequences are the homely, personal exchanges between Vidhi and her grandfather Nanu (Pankaj Kapur), which are full of affection and warmth and a rare naturalness. Pankaj gets his least meaty role in years here, but again shows his solid command over his craft, including his lovely brand of humor that was best seen in Karamchand, his television series in the 1980s, and in the 2005 Dus.

A “realistic” presentation of a case where political skullduggery, police kowtowing to power and lack of values in human beings lead to a situation where the innocent are targeted, needed some permissible (as in plausible) spicing up to keep the audience engrossed and also a conclusion that gratified. Over here, as Vidhi doggedly pursues the case (conveniently, her father, played by Vinay Sharma, is connected with the murky but suave politician Varman—played with skill by Rahul Khanna), we see an array of unsatisfying outcomes as she follows the various leads she gets, including from Ishan’s girlfriend Ankita (Pia Bajpiee) or his sister Namita (Honeyy Jain).

The end, too, may be termed “realistic” (Yawn! Was there a term so over-abused in Hindi cinema to bore the audience!) but again, we see no gratification. For example, the main culprit just goes unpunished by law. So his atrocities on fresh victims will continue.

Yami Gautam Dhar shines as Vidhi, and again, her best sequences are the ones with her doting grandfather. Pia Bajpiee as Ankita and Honeyy Jain as Namita are excellent, as is the actor who plays Vidhi’s boss. Sohag Sen makes a mark in the all-too-brief of Ishan’s mother, and so does Amitabh Acharya as the senior police officer. Jogi Mallang is a natural as Zia. But seriously, Neil Bhoopalam should stop doing these nerdy, nuisance-value- boyfriend roles that he seems to be getting typecast in!

The background music by Shantanu Moitra is serviceable but the songs, from the man who scored gems like like Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi, Parineeta and 3 Idiots, do not even register. Sigh! That was another era! Avik Mukhopadhyay shoots Kolkata with loving care and Ritesh Shah writes excellent lines off and on. But the script and direction, let me use the clichéd term, had lots of room for improvement.

Rating: **

ZEE5 presents Zee Studios’ & Namah Pictures’ Lost Produced by: Kishor Arora, Sam Fernandes, Shareen Mantri Kedia & Indrani Mukerjee Directed by: Aniruddha Roy Chowhdury  Written by: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Shyamal Sengupta & Ritesh Shah  Music: Shantanu Moitra  Starring: Yami Gautam Dhar, Pankaj Kapur, Rahul Khanna, Neil Bhoopalam, Pia Bajpiee, Honeyy Jain, Tushar Pandey, Kaushik Sen, Arindam Sil, Suman Mukhopadhyay, Sohag Sen, Anubha Fatehpuria, Vinay Sharma, Jogi Mallang, Ashok Mehra, Abrar Zahoor Dhar, Samiul Alam, Amitabh Acharya & others






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